Undergraduate institutions attended and degrees earned
University of South Florida, Bachelor of Arts in International Studies

Hometown – City, State, and Country (if not the U.S.)
Native of Dominican Republic and Hometown, Tampa, FL

Extracurricular and co-curricular activities
2020-2021 Peer Advisor, Student Attorney of Immigration Clinic (Clinic 1, Clinic 2 and Clinic 3), Volunteer with CASA de Maryland, AILA-DC, CAIR, AIJN, and ASAP.

Post-graduation plans
TBD. My husband is active duty and we are due to be re-assigned this summer and have not been given orders with our new location.

What was your most memorable moment?
Representing a client before the Baltimore immigration court and litigating their case successfully, alongside the best clinic partner, Rose Richardson, and the greatest supervisor, Gabriela Kharl. The adrenaline and nervous energy that runs through the body during a removal hearing is like no other. I never imagined I could coherently speak in front of a judge, let alone conduct direct and cross examination of a witness. To know that the hard work that we put into preparing for our hearing, resulted in the freedom of a deserving single mother of 3, was the best feeling ever.

Finish this sentence: I could not have gotten through this experience without…
All my family and friends who continuously encouraged and maintained faith in me, when I often didn’t. A special thanks to my husband, Javier Sanchez, who always kept me fed during long final exam weeks, who remained patient and kind when I felt too overwhelmed to be a reasonable being, and who loved me unconditionally during some of the toughest moments of my life these past 3 years.

Who are your mentors? How have they impacted your journey?
I consider Gabriela Kahrl, to be one of my most cherished mentors during this time in law school. I’ve spent the last 3 semesters under her supervision in the Immigration Clinic and through her I’ve learned how to be a better advocate for our clients and better human. Gabriela is an exceptional being who has taught me that you should never let yourself be limited by your circumstances and should always think outside the box. She is the example I wish to follow. I also thank my undergraduate mentor, Ryan Newton, who’s early guidance has forever shaped who I am as a leader and individual.

What did you learn about yourself while earning this degree?
This degree confirmed that I am able to adapt to any circumstance that life throws at me. I use to think it was a useless skill, but through this degree have come to appreciate how much I welcome change and don’t let myself be boggled by it. As an individual who wishes to pursue immigration law, I must be ready to adapt to any and all changes that come my way and I’ve learned that in the field of immigration changes come by the minute. Furthermore, having to adapt to a new learning style with virtual learning and all the changes the accompanied that.

Who was your favorite professor and why?
Professor Maureen Sweeney, will go down in history as my favorite Professor. I chose Maryland Carey Law because of the Immigration Clinic and the opportunity to work with Professor Sweeney. I graduate from UMD, knowing I made the correct decision. Professor Sweeney truly cares about her students success inside the classroom, in the clinic, and outside in the real world. She pushes each of her students because she truly believes in our potential and I am walking away from UMD a better advocate because of her.

What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite class was Financial and Accounting Basics for Lawyers, with Professor Blair-Stanek. I was intimated to take this course as like many of my fellow classmates, I too run away from numbers. But I pushed my fears aside and I’m so glad I did. I found this course to be extremely practical and helpful for lawyers to know. Aside from the class being helpful, Professor Blair-Stanek is truly one of the best professors at UMD. He truly cares about the student walking away understanding the material, no matter how many times he may need to explain the subject.

Write a message.
I could thank so many individuals, because I truly believe that everyone who crosses your path does so for a reason and serves a meaningful purpose. All the individuals that have crossed my path have made me a better human and taught valuable things. I am beyond fortunate to have a large support system. I list below those who have blindly placed their faith in me and have continuously supported me when I thought I wasn’t capable of success. These individuals have provided me with love, encouragement, companionship, laughter, and compassion. I know I wouldn’t have survived law school without them and thus I thank my husband, Javier, my parents, Ricardo and Yvelisse, my sisters, Sasha and Livei, and the following individuals: Michael, Kruz, Camila, Liandra, DJ, Oneida, Jasmine, Tia Gio, Tio Javier, Gaby, Sara, Gerald, Monika, Tiffani, Rose, Gabriela, Professor Sweeney, Juliana, Lauren y el resto de mi familia. I could continue but there’s a word limit.